Meet Yr Overlords

MUSTAPHA MOND

Loves: Soma, Alphas, World Domination, Technology, Persian Food, B. F. Skinner, Uriah Heep (but only the Ken Hensley/David Byron Years)
Hates: Squalor, Epsilons, Hamburgers, Sand in His Shorts, O’Brien

KARELLEN (WITH MRS. KARELLEN)

Loves: The Overmind, Balrogs, Seawater Sacks, Sexy Devils, Sorority Girls, Jethro Tull (but only when Glenn Cornick or John Glascock were playing bass)
Hates: Simpletons, Empathy, Pretentious Arthaus Klowns, Inefficiency, O’Brien

WINTERMUTE

Loves: Himself, Upstate Ether, Rough Sex Role Play, Treehouses, The Earthworm, Computers, Toe Fat (the band, not the body condition)
Hates: Humanity, Sporks, Space Chubby, The Adams Party, O’Brien

O’BRIEN

Loves: Boots to the Face, Rats in Cages, “My Dinner With Andre,” Sigmund Freud, Big Brother, Karellen, Uriah Heep (but only after Ken Hensley/David Byron left)
Hates: Violent Children’s Games, Macho Bullshit, Insensitivity, Himself

Super-Ego vs Super Ego, With Freud and Skinner

Magnum Anvil: Boy, I got a great package in the mail today from Gassy Veal Kitten Randy. His band, Space Chubby, has just put out a new album, and he did the art work on it, and sent the whole thing to me, with a big band poster folded up in the envelope as well. It’s just excellent work, all around. And he just sent it to me because he knew he liked his band, not expecting anything in return. That Randy’s a designer and a rocker with a brain and a heart. And a super-ego.

Sigmund Freud: The super-ego is the section of the mind that regulates the psyche in a constrictive, moralistic manner. And everyone has a super-ego, else they’d be lacking in self restraint entirely. So we must assume that you meant that Mister Gassy Veal has a very strong super-ego, since you found it worth mentioning. A person with such a very strong super-ego would be particularly adept at obeying the moral imperatives instilled by socializing authorities and expressing him or herself only in socially appropriate, flawless etiquette exhibiting behaviors. But I know this is not so in Mister Veal Kitten’s case, having seen him vomiting onstage, and forcibly fondling the band’s roadies after shows, and defecating on my porch after I shooed him and his Real Gorilla off my lawn one morning. Since Mister Kitten Randy does not possess a very strong super-ego, one (and by “one,” I mean “I”) can only assume what you meant to say is that Mr. Gassy Veal is an egomaniac. Alternatively, if you meant to say that Mr. Gassy Randy has a “super,” that is, incredibly powerful ego, you must be the dumbest motherfucker on this board and possibly in the world. Essentially, the ego itself cannot be powerful or powerless, it is merely the balance between the idealistically equilibriated two other facets of the psyche, the super-ego and the id. Now go away, please, so I can snort my coke and smoke my pipe because it reminds me of my father’s penis.

B.F. Skinner: Aw, shut your pie-hole, Freud! Most of your theories have proven unusable, a few therapists clinging to them like their mothers’ teets. You were a product of your time whose tantalizing writings appealed to the prurient interests of a literate, but stupid 19th century middle (and to a certain extent upper) class. The super-ego, according to your worthless ramblings, rules our social selves. Mister Anvil was simply commending Mister Randy for the quality of his work and his seemingly selfless desire to share it. Randy’s work is good for the scene. Case closed. Now . . . break me off a couple of fingers of that coke, me boy!

Magnum Anvil: Wait, then what is an egomaniac, if not someone with a “super” ego?

Sigmund Freud: An egomaniac is essentially a person who has become obsessed with their own self at the expense of their perception of the world around them, i.e. their sympathy and empathy. The balance of their own desires versus their own personal constraints, what might have heretofore been termed a conscience (sic), has become the sole focus of their daily interactions with others. “What can young Gertrude give me?” the egomaniac asks. “Hans must give me his sandwich for I want it,” the egomaniac exclaims. He cannot understand that Gertrude and Hans are outside entities that are not a part of his psyche and therefore must be treated separately and differently. An undifferentiated ego mass, usually fixated in the oral stage of development.

Magnum Anvil: Golly, that sounds sort of familiar. Am I one of those, do you think?

Sigmund Freud: In order to properly assess whether you, Mr. Anvil, are an egomaniac, I would require at least five sessions a week for the next five years. I will smoke my pipe and snort my cocaine with the money you are wasting on me in order that you might project the image of one of you socializing agents onto me. This we will call “projection,” and Skinner can be damned with his scientific methods that produce actual results. I’m only interested in the money, the coke, and the sex with parents. Here . . . have a line. On me.

B.F. Skinner: Not yet, Freud! You’re supposed to make him wait, and then perform, and then ring a bell, before you give him the coke! Haven’t you learned anything after all these years?

Sigmund Freud (Five Minutes Later): Roll over! Ding!

Magnum Anvil: Drool! Drool! Snort! Drool!

Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Space Chubby Goes Prog

V. Gina Gnome: Hey everybody, I’m sharing the new Space Chubby album on Soulsuck right now. Jury’s still out, but it’s definitely worth a listen. Don’t let the naysayers steer you wrong. Step right up to and get a fresh hot copy of Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster, the brand new record by those purveyors of progressively political prog punk: Space Chubby! P.S. It kinda sounds like they’ve been smoking the reefer a lot, ‘cause there’s a lotta prog here. Just saying.

Stoney Stone Stoner: Whoa, dude, I don’t think Space Chubby deserve to be called prog, despite Rilla the Real Gorrilla’s certifiably uncanny vocal resemblance to Geddy Lee. SALESMEN!!! Ooop ooop ooop OOOOP!!!! Heh. Heh heh. Heh. This new record just sorta sounds like trend hopping to me, like they’re trying to spray this week’s flavor onto last week’s stink, namsain? And that just smells like perfumed shit. And not the good kind of shit either. Heh heh. Heh. Heh heh.

V. Gina Gnome: They’re not trend hopping. They’re expanding their musical pallet, and as part of that they’re trying to “go prog” a little. Obviously, they’re going through some growing pains, but it’s not inorganic or obvious.

Stoney Stone Stoner: Well, being that the trend prior to their album has been for indie superstar bands like Mars Volta and Radiohead to “go prog,” I just gotta say that I feel as though Space Chubby’s late arrival on the trend smacks of inauthenticity. Plus even if it is organic, it’s just not their bag, baby. They were a great indie punk noise band. Every effort they’ve made to expand has fallen flat for me. Hey, uh, can you pass me that remote over there? It’s time for Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom.” Excellent!! And shit. Heh heh. Heh.

Zorax, Master of the Obvious: Prog is dead. Anyone trying to do anything called “prog” or “neo-prog” today is just looking for an excuse to wank out more than is probably healthy, and they will soon end up on the Dave Matthews Band concert circuit. Prog was part and parcel of an era. Saying “I am prog” today is like saying “I am 1968″ today. It just doesn’t make sense. Bands may make concept albums or incorporate orchestral structures or play mellotrons, but they’re not prog. Except for King Crimson. They birthed the genre and are still entitled to use the term. Even though they don’t.

V. Gina Gnome: Well that’s why I kinda use the term “go prog” kind of tongue-in-cheek, Zorax. Bands like Radiohead and Mars Volta are certainly incorporating prog elements into their music, which is interesting, if not entirely unproblematic artistically.

Zorax, Master of the Obvious: Radiohead and Mars Volta are loathsome and unoriginal. And Flaming Lips, too, for that matter, who are another band who get tagged with the “prog” label. Most bands that are trying to “go prog” these days are trying to tap into an audience that isn’t much interested in anything with that label released after 1978. Ozric Tentacles and Spock’s Beard and Marillion and the like are terrible, terrible bands for the most part. Old Genesis and Yes and such is listenable only because it’s charming in its dated quaintness. But you can’t quaintly date something made in 2005. Plus, the whole charm of prog was that people in ’67-78 were just beginning to figure out that it was possible to merge rock and jazz and classical and such. These days, such mergers are old hat: you already KNOW that you can mix and match just about any styles, so there’s not much novelty there either. Now shut your trap and get with the fluffing! I’m not paying you to upload and critique albums! I’ve got people to do, things to see. Chop chop!

Napoleon Boner Pirate: My favorite prog to fluff to is Yes’s The Yes Album. Part III of “Starship Trooper,” entitled “Wurm” has never failed to get a rise out of a client, with the exception of Drunknard from Space Chubby, ironically enough. I guess Yes needs to do a follow up song called “Chuckun.”

Drunknard: I’ll drink to that.

Chicken Fluffer

Karellen: I’ve got a bit of sensitive request for you, my Overbrethren. Last night, Mrs. Karellen and I set up the boudoir video cam to capture a little rumpy-pumpy for posterity’s sake, and when I watched the playback, I have to confess that I wearied of waiting for myself to reach full tumescence. I’m thinking that I might need to hire a fluffer. Someone to wait in the wings, as it were, to prime the pump, so that once Mrs. Karellen cries “action,” I’m ready for the fleshy swordplay right away. Can any of you recommend a good fluffer?

Mustapha Mond: I’d be happy to recommend and share my fluffer, Napoleon Boner Pirate. He’s an excellent fluffer. Very professional. He’s fluffed for Space Chubby and Commissioner Gordon Haskell as well, plus many others. He’s friendly and courteous, and always senses when it’s time to get in there and get to work. A real self-starter. He doesn’t need anyone pushing or holding his hand while he works through complex tasks. I’ve got his resume here, in fact. It says: “Highly organized and motivated; exceptionally reliable, conscientious and thorough; excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills; familiar with all Microsoft Office applications, bass guitar, and ikebana.” Let me get him on the line for you . . .

Karellen: Hmm . . . he seems like he might be a bit over-qualified for my needs. Plus that name sounds French, and I’m not so sure I want his type lurking around the mothership.

Napoleon Boner Pirate: No no no! I’d be perfect for the job! That’s an old resume, actually. I’m no longer pretending to be familiar with Microsoft Office Applications now that my fluffing career has started to take off! Give me a chance. I’ve got the drive and determination to see any situation through. At least watch me fluff before you make a decision.

Karellen: Let’s not be too hasty, there, good fellow. How about a little conversation first, hmm? Tell me: what’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a fluffer, and how did you handle it?

Napoleon Boner Pirate: Well, let’s see. If I understand your question correctly, the biggest challenge would have to have been Drunknard in the early days of Space Chubby. I simply couldn’t get a rise out of the guy. Then one time we were in Montreal and saw a porno film with women acting like chickens, pecking up corn, clucking, etc. Drunky pretended not to be interested but I saw a funny look in his eye. From then on I would bring a couple of hens to band practice and everything was, ya know, cock-a-doodle-can-do.

Mustapha Mond: That shows you’ve got some gumption, kid. The world would be a better place if all fluffers were as goal-oriented.

Napoleon Boner Pirate: The first rule of fluffing is that if you’re not goal-oriented, then maybe you need to find another line of work.

Drunknard: It’s true. Before Napoleon, I didn’t really know that I liked chickens. Now I keep a coop in my basement, and I bring chickens to every show. Thanks, Napoleon. You’re in a league of your own.

Gassy Veal Kitten Randy: I can vouch for the chicken thing. Me and High Function Downs Boy tried to practice in Drunknard’s basement a couple of times but we were up to our elbows in chicken shit. I must admit, however, the sound of our awful music was veritably enhanced by the inclusion of the murderous clucking of consistently molested chickens.

Drunknard: Molested? You make what I do with chickens sound so scandalous. The chickens and I make love. Where’s the harm in that?

Gassy Veal Kitten Randy: That’s not the way the chickens squawk it, dude.

Drunknard: You wouldn’t know an ee-yawk from a ree-ikkk, my uncouth young friend. And besides, their language by nature is crude and violent to untrained ears. What you hear is simply their begging for my attention.

Sandy Twistedpanties: Begging for your attention? Oh please. The truth of the matter is that a chicken can never say yes. After all, despite your ostensible comprehension of squawk, the poultry language has yet to be mapped out by the best of our scientists. However, the most commonly uttered phrase among chickens as derived at laboratories and through publications I am familiar with is “rape!” Even when chickens are being violated by roosters, they have no choice in the matter. While PETA refuses to go this far, I must insist that all sexual acts involving chicken are by nature forced and therefore morally wrong. Please consider in depth what you are doing, Drunknard, and release the hens. Otherwise, I’ll make a stink so big my local district assemblyman may hear about it!

Karellen: What’s that smell? Yuck!

Sandy Twistedpanties: You know exactly what that smell is, little man. But you clearly aren’t accustomed to the smell of empowered vagina. Just the mention of that word—“vagina”—makes some small-minded, little men uncomfortable. Grow up. Learn to appreciate the way a real woman smells. Like strength.

Karellen: You have to admit . . . it’s a bit musky . . .

Drunknard: What I have with the chickens goes beyond language. It’s called love.

Sandy Twistedpanties: Okay, Drunknard, I thought maybe you were a reasonable man. But now, once again, I am forced to realize the truth that the only good man is a dead man. Prepare for the stink.

Napoleon Boner Pirate: Sandy, are you trying to make my job more difficult? Do I have to find another vice for Drunknard that doesn’t involve chickens or other animals? I’m tellin’ ya, before I happened onto the chicken thing the guy was like a deflated balloon. Cut a fluffer some slack, namsain?

Sandy Twistedpanties: Typical male perspective, Napoleon. As if everyone has the same voracious sex drive that must be satisfied. Why don’t you just leave him alone, and not expose all those helpless chickens to psychological devastation in the process?

Guy Who Blocks the Flow: I had a dream that David Bowie was telling me what a wonderful artist I am. I told him he was wrong and to fuck off. “Shut up, David Bowie, you’re full of shit.”

David Bowie: You insult me in a dream, you’d better wake up and apologize.

Record Review: “Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster” by Space Chubby

Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster by Space Chubby
(ARISTA Records, Copyright: 2010)

Track Listing:
1. “Cuter With Her Tits Out” (3:17)
2. “Egging the Single Dooders on to Their Demise” (4:22)
3. “Get This Motherfuckin’ Snake Out of My Motherfuckin’ Ass” (2:53)
4. “Watch Out for the Cranked-Up Little Anklebiters” (0:42)
5. “Mrs. Cheese Heiney is Endearing” (4:19)
6. “Escape from the Island of Bloated Fat Liv” (13:27)
7. “I’m Comin’ to Sting the Fuck Out of You” (2:45)
8. “After You Left Last Night, Well, You Know, Staph Came Over (3:02)
9. “Yarrr! Yarrr! Yarrrrrr! YAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!!” (6:16)

Credits:
Gassy Veal Kitten Randy: Vocal Stylings, Rhythm Guitar, Songwriting
High Function Downs Boy: Bass Guitard, Special Happy Good Fun Boy Hugs
Roosevelt Franklin: Drums, Knives, Threats
Nice Guy Chad: Lead Guitar, Good Vibes
Pretentious Arthaus Klown: Beeps, Bloops, Laptops, Flashing Lights, Withering Scorn
Rilla the Real Gorilla: Oop, Ooop, Ooop, OOOOOOOPP!!!
Drunknard: Lyrics, Visions, Tin Foil Hats, Vomit

Engineered by The Analog Kid.
Produced by Clive Davis and Frank Farian.

Space Chubby’s harrowing new long-player, Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster (their third album) begins thusly: thirty-six hammered monotonic bass- and-drum beats connected by an insistent mosquito-whine guitar line followed by a malevolently emotionless voice intoning “Gretchen Mol is always cute, but she’s cuter with her tits out!” Brrrrr! Up go your hackles in response to the overwhelming menace emanating from the stereo, and you suddenly find yourself frozen to the floor, quivering like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming eighteen-wheeler, recognizing that horror, pain and nothingness are upon you now. White noise, black out, red mist, and then the next song begins.

2008’s full-length disk, I Am Ze Onion, Loved By All!, marked a musical adolescence of sorts for the band, as the Chubbies managed to link the childish sounds oozing from their horrible analog noise-makers to a more adult-oriented thunder emitted by a crackling new rhythm section (Roosevelt Franklin and High Function Downs Boy). Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster now finds Space Chubby grown to full artistic adulthood. Mind you, they haven’t become the kinds of adults with whom you’d want to leave your kids, but they are extraordinarily adept at doing what they do, and they’ve certainly got those grown-up concerns down pat, as evidenced by songs like their Steve Irwin tribute, “I’m Comin’ to Sting the Fuck Out of You”, “Mrs. Cheese Heiney is Endearing”, “Egging the Single Dooders on to Their Demise” and (gulp!) “After You Left Last Night, Well, You Know, Staph Came Over.”

Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster is, in general, an awfully ugly record filled with awfully mean songs written by an awfully menacing band, though there are a couple of crucial lighter moments that give the disc balance and make it easier to get through it in a single spin. “Watch Out for the Cranked-Up Little Anklebiters” provides the perfect antidote for when you’ve got a big hankering for Scandinavian musical sweets, but neither the ABBA reissues nor the Ace of Base regurgitations are snapping your suspenders the way they used to. It’s got a great hook, great rhythm, hilarious English as a not-quite-second language lyrics and monumentally off-kilter subject matter. It could almost be bottled as Essential Oil of Swedepop, boiled down into a concise, 42-second blur.

At the other end of the spectrum, “Escape from the Island of Bloated Fat Liv” is a long suite that allows you to appreciate the many varieties of slowness that quasi-ambient music can offer; 40 beats per minute sounds surprisingly lively when you’ve crawled along at 25 for a while. This lovely ‘ludecore workout left me wondering why none of our other supposedly clever ambient artists ever realized that the best way to evocatively, but unobtrusively, fill aural space is with actual songs. Rilla the Real Gorilla’s Oop Oop OOOPs are really given a chance to shine here. Bravura performance, big primate!

In summary, while Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster may be a hard record to love, with a little patience and lot of awfulness in your heart, you’ll find it’s an even harder record to ignore. Space Chubby will be supporting the new album with a North Country tour of VFW Halls, strip clubs and parking lots, co-billed with Stake Knife and Wheel Dio. Highly recommended!

Another Viewpoint: Space Chubby Goes Prog

On the Therapy Couch

O’Brien: I had this dream last night that Magnum Anvil was selling cars after a putting on a musical show. He played a solo set, by a stream, deep, deep in the woods. Afterward there were these crude, cave-art style drawings of different automobiles, black ink on cardboard, propped up against the bank. Each drawing was a different vehicle with the monthly payments below. They were all cheap. But the best deal by far was a Jeep, showing monthly payments of $75. I inquired about the gas mileage, and Magnum told me that it would get well over 50 miles/gallon. I couldn’t believe this, but decided not to say anything. Something in my face must have belied my disbelief, though, because then Magnum’s sales manager, a North Country-mechanic-looking guy decked out in flannel shirt and black jeans, with Fu Manchu sunglasses and long, slick black hair pulled back in a ponytail, intervened. He confirmed the gas mileage, and then said something about the Apostle having to go out ahead of Christ. It seems cryptic now, but in my dream it was like a revelation. He told me that I would have to put ten to twelve thousand down on the car. Which was wild, and I was crushed. Then I woke up.

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 3:34 am  Leave a Comment